Ballroom dance partners settle row over missing money

Mary Cunningham (88) was embroiled in legal dispute with attorneys for her partner

Legal proceedings between ballroom dance partners over missing money have been settled. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Legal proceedings between ballroom dance partners over missing money have been settled. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

Legal proceedings between ballroom dance partners, who struck up a life-long romance after meeting at an afternoon tea dance in Jury’s Hotel nearly 50 years ago, have been settled.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court that 88-year-old Dublin woman Mary Cunningham had been embroiled in a legal dispute with family attorneys for her partner John Condron, who is suffering from dementia and in care, over missing money.

The judge had earlier directed Ms Cunningham, of Brookwood Rise, Artane, to provide the court with full and specific details of withdrawals she had made from a joint account held by the couple and which once had a balance totalling €86,470.

Barrister Mark O’Riordan, counsel for Mr Condron’s son and daughter Paul and Ann Condron, who are acting as attorneys for their father, had told an earlier hearing that Ms Cunningham was attempting to maintain that she had some form of qualified co-habitant status relating to 7 Cormac Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly, which was Mr Condron’s former address.

He said title documents to the property which Mr Condron’s attorneys believed would have been kept at the address could not be located.

An advertisement had been placed in the Law Society Gazette seeking information about the deeds.

Mr O’Riordan told the court that Ms Cunningham had withdrawn more than half of the €86,470 in the account.

Savings account

The judge was told that more than €40,000 remained in the couple’s post office savings account and that An Post had earlier given an undertaking to hold on to the funds until further order of the court.

Ms Cunningham’s son, Ray, had told the court that she had spent more than €10,000 of the money she had withdrawn on installing downstairs wheelchair access around her home and on an upstairs bathroom which would allow a disabled person to live in her home.

She had divided up and shared among her 16 grandchildren the remainder of the money she had taken from the joint account.

The court heard that Ms Cunningham had suffered a stroke and Karen Rodgers had been appointed as her Guardian Ad Litem.

Mr O’Riordan said Ms Rodgers had helped bring about a speedy settlement to the dispute.

Mr O’Riordan told the judge that the case had been settled and €10,000 held in a solicitor’s account would be paid to the Condron attorneys and some €44,000 held by An Post would be transferred to solicitors for Mr Condron’s attorneys.

The judge, striking out the proceedings, said Ms Rodgers had acted wisely in dealing with the matter and had saved much money in legal costs.